What is SIEM in Cybersecurity

What is SIEM in Cybersecurity
Article by Sumana Ganguly
Last Updated: June 01, 2023

As cyber threats continue to grow, security has become a top priority for businesses of all sizes. Keeping up with cybersecurity trends is essential to protect your business and its data from hackers.

This guide will help you navigate this field successfully. Read on to discover SIEM in cybersecurity and how it can protect your sensitive data and scan for vulnerabilities. You'll also learn five best practices for SIEM implementation.

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What is SIEM?

Security information and event management (SIEM) software is one of the most critical tools in any organization's arsenal for keeping data safe.

SIEMs help you collect, organize, and analyze all the logs generated by your company’s security devices and software.

Suppose a firewall notices an abnormal spike in traffic. In that case, a SIEM will record this event, along with information like the source, destination, time recorded, type of traffic, and so on.

Because they collect data from a wide range of sources, SIEMs are a helpful tool for monitoring and improving your company’s cybersecurity posture.

How Does SIEM Work?

SIEM systems have been a critical component of the security infrastructure for many organizations. In today's world, SIEMs require meticulous engagement with data ingestion, policy monitoring, alert review, and analyzing all anomalies, as well as use AI techniques to identify potential threats.

Data Gathering

SIEM systems can tap into a range of sources in order to obtain data for analysis, whether small-scale end users, large capacity servers, or even something as complex as cloud services. Prior to this process happening at the “edge collectors,” only relevant events and their associated information are passed on for centralized storage.

Data Storage

Next-generation SIEMs have revolutionized security log storage and management by leveraging modern data lake technology. Splitting away from the traditional reliance on costly in-house hardware enables companies to take advantage of virtually unlimited scalability while keeping costs low. This allows for a comprehensive analysis of all logs across multiple systems with no loss or deterioration in quality.


SIEMs have become powerful tools for security teams through machine learning and behavioral profiling. They allow staff to set profiles that establish normal behavior of enterprise systems and rules on what anomalous activity should be flagged up as potential security incidents. This helps protect infrastructure against malicious events before they can cause damage.

Data Consolidation and Correlation

A SIEM is a highly effective tool that allows organizations to compile and analyze data across all their systems. By connecting seemingly disparate logs, events, connections, and attempts at access into meaningful security information, they can be quickly identified as potential risks or dangerous threats.

With careful monitoring managed by dashboards and notifications in place, analysts are better equipped with actionable intelligence on how best to protect valuable assets.

Implementing SIEM Cybersecurity: 5 Best Practices

  1. Define Your Cybersecurity Goals
  2. Don’t Rely Solely on a SIEM
  3. Assign Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Understand the SIEM Product
  5. Keep Your System Updated

1. Define Your Cybersecurity Goals

Before selecting and implementing the right SIEM solution for your organization, you must define your cybersecurity goals.

Setting goals helps you stay on track and identify potential issues that could go unnoticed.

Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Cybersecurity goals can include creating more secure access points.

2. Don’t Rely Solely on a SIEM

While it’s helpful to implement a SIEM, it’s not a catch-all solution for all of your cybersecurity issues. A SIEM can help you spot problems and monitor your progress, but it’s not a silver bullet.

3. Assign Roles and Responsibilities

One of the critical things you can do when implementing a SIEM is to decide what role each department will play.

This will help you avoid common pitfalls and guarantee everyone is on the same page regarding cybersecurity issues.

Identify who will be responsible for managing the system's data inputs, the access privileges, and the queries it produces.

Then, assign a lead analyst responsible for investigating incidents and training others.

Make sure there are people assigned as auditors or spot-checkers for security alerts generated by your SIEM system.

Finally, find someone who will handle requests from external stakeholders.

4. Understand the SIEM Product

Before choosing a SIEM product, you should spend time reviewing the features and cybersecurity benefits of each option. Look for products that provide everything you need and are easy to use.

5. Keep Your System Updated

Keep your SIEM system updated with the latest software patches and revisions. This will ensure that your system is as secure as possible.

Security Information and Event Management Capabilities

Log Management

Log management means collecting, organizing, and analyzing logs from your network devices to identify potential threats and improve your cybersecurity posture.

Threat Intelligence

Threat intelligence is collecting data about known cyber threats to predict future attacks, avoid potential pitfalls, and inform your security decisions.

Asset Management

Asset management identifies your system's hardware, software, and network resources. This will help you accurately assess the risk associated with each resource in the event of a breach.


The response is preparing for and responding to security events as they occur. This may include notifying the appropriate employees and initiating a response plan.


Compliance refers to identifying regulatory requirements that your business is subject to. It will help you identify gaps in your cybersecurity posture and implement measures to correct them.

Behavior Analysis

User behavior analysis entails monitoring user activities to identify malicious actions and fraudulent attempts.

Endpoint Protection

Endpoint protection means securing endpoints, such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices, against malware and other threats.


Encryption involves converting sensitive information into unreadable code to protect it from unauthorized users.

Benefits of SIEM Security Information and Event Management

If you want your business to be safe from cyber-attacks and data breaches, it’s crucial to have a security information and event management strategy in place.

Here are other reasons why implementing SIEM is crucial:

  • The security information and event management system helps you identify patterns related to malicious activities and provides a comprehensive view of your network.
  • The system provides alerts when unusual activities are detected. It helps companies prevent security breaches and respond more quickly.
  • It can receive information from host-based security tools, web application monitoring systems, and user-identity management software.
  • SIEM can improve your compliance posture by providing visibility into all activities across your IT systems.
  • It can help you better use your existing security investments by integrating with other security tools and systems.
  • It can improve the efficiency of your security operations by automating many tasks such as log management, event correlation, and incident response.

Top SIEM Cybersecurity Tools

Let’s take a look at the top SIEM cybersecurity tools in the market:


ArcSight is an enterprise-grade security analytics platform and one of the best SIEM cybersecurity tools that collects, correlates, and analyzes data from multiple sources to provide real-time alerts about suspicious activities in your network.

This tool is ideal for large enterprises with complex IT environments.

It offers a high degree of flexibility while providing advanced capabilities like user behavior analytics (UBA) and threat intelligence sharing across your entire organization.

ArcSight's architecture allows easy integration with other security products like firewalls and malware scanners.

It can be used as part of an entire cybersecurity solution rather than just as a standalone product.

Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are among the largest companies in the world that use this tool. It integrates deeply with other security products like Palo Alto Networks and F5 Networks.

BM QRadar

BM QRadar is another popular SIEM cybersecurity tool that IBM Security developed.

It's a powerful tool for analyzing logs from multiple sources, including servers, workstations, firewalls, and network appliances.

Large enterprises use BM QRadar for security analytics, performance management, and capacity planning for thousands of endpoints.

Plus, it offers features that make it stand out from competitors like ArcSight.

Its network forensics tools help investigate threats on your network by analyzing network traffic logs in real-time and identifying unusual behavior patterns that could indicate a breach has occurred.


Splunk offers log management software that IT professionals can use to monitor their systems remotely without installing software on those machines.

It's priced based on the number of users who need access to its features, but there's no upfront cost for evaluation purposes.

Splunk is ideal for businesses requiring a log management solution to monitor large numbers of systems and perform deep analysis of their data without hiring a developer.


LogRhythm allows companies to capture, store, analyze and report security events in real-time. It helps companies quickly identify threats and respond faster.

Not only does it provide alerts when something goes wrong. It also gives businesses insight into how their networks perform over time to identify potential issues before they become problems or attacks.

LogRhythm is ideal for smaller enterprises because it's easy to set up and use and doesn't require much IT knowledge.

It's an excellent option for companies who want something simple yet effective. It has an intuitive interface that makes it easy for anyone on the team to use it immediately.

Limitations of SIEM Applications

SIEM tools are designed to collect and analyze data generated by your company’s network devices and security software.

However, SIEM tools cannot protect against cyber-attacks such as smishing. They are developed to help you respond to attacks, collect data about potential issues, and take preventative measures to improve your security posture.

Additionally, SIEM tools can be expensive in terms of the initial investment and ongoing maintenance and support costs.

But if you're looking for the best way to safeguard your data from insider threats or malware attacks, a SIEM combined with other cybersecurity solutions is the way to go.

SIEM in Cybersecurity: Takeaways

SIEM is a valuable technology that every cybersecurity professional should consider to protect their business.

The right tools and setup can provide essential information about your organization's security status and make informed decisions when disaster strikes.

Like most cybersecurity tools, there is no single solution. Just as every business's needs vary, so will its SIEM setup.

Aside from SIEM cybersecurity measures, consider implementing other modes of protection against potential threats, like firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems.

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